Before the #MeToo movement, there was the 1970s and three girls – Tessa. Athena, Jenny looking for love, best friends, and what they want to be. Breaking traditional roles, there are challenges from parents, church, school. But there’s college and new freedoms, except that can be dangerous.

Shadows of Olive Trees

The 1970’s is the decade of the second rise of feminism with the first test tube baby. The first women’s refuge. Germain Greer’s feminist book ‘The Female Eunuch’ (1970) advocating women’s control of their own bodies and choices. The battle for contraception, education, equal rights. It is the time when International Women’s Year is declared by the United Nations. (1975).

A story of love, best friends and search for identity. Shadows of Olive Trees is the lived experience of the author as a young adult in the 1970’s with her friends. It’s a time of enormous creativity, challenges and search for identity.

FEMINISM is used by some as an insult, where girls and young women in particular, are intimidated with fears of being typecast as a “feminazi”, ice maiden, man-hater, aggressive and other negative stereotypes.

So what is feminism? It’s about gender equity. It is never about men against women. A human rights’ issue, it is where men and women should have equal opportunity and choice. History shows how hard it is to achieve this, when the courageous women of the suffragette movement fought and died for the right to vote.


Emma Watson the brilliant Hermine in the Harry Potter movies is the United Nations role of Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Women’s HeForShe campaign where men and women join together for gender equality. Register for equality.

He4She is a solidarity movement that brings women and men together to fight against gender inequalities faced by women and girls globally.


I am one of millions…

who believe that everyone is born free and equal.
I will take action against; Gender Bias, Discrimination
and Violence to bring the benefits of equality to us all.

United Nations International Women's Day 8th March

Women Unite in a snapshot

International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. Significant activity is witnessed worldwide as groups come together to celebrate women’s achievements or rally for women’s equality.


Marked annually on March 8th, International Women’s Day is one of the most important days of the year to:

  • celebrate women’s achievements
  • raise awareness about women’s equality
  • lobby for accelerated gender parity
  • fundraise for female-focused charities

Susanne is Proud to be a Writer Ambassador for Room

Room to ReadEmpowering Girls Through Education

Writer Ambassadors for Room to Read include renowned authors Oliver Phommavanh, Melina Marchetta, Markus Zusak, Tristin Bancks, Belinda Murrell, Kate Forsyth … and Deborah Abela and Susanne Gervay having fun raising awareness of Room to Read.

Nearly 100 million adolescent girls around the world are not in school. This is a crisis and we know the single best approach to improving the status of women is through education. Yet, girls are disadvantaged when it comes to getting an education. Cultural bias, gender discrimination and safety concerns discourage girls from learning, and these pressures become even more pronounced when girls reach secondary school.

Room to Read’s Girls’ Education Program was founded with the belief that educated women can change the world. Educated women are healthier, earn more income for their families, and are greater contributors to their community and country.

Room to Read’s Girls’ Education Program helps girls stay in school longer, progress towards completion of secondary school, and acquire the skills and agency they need to make informed choices about their lives and realize their potential.

Room to Read mascot ZAC the YAK with Susanne promoting Room to Read.

Susanne supports 20 years of Room to Read with a special book – ‘The Gifts of Reading’

Orion Publishing UK 2020. ISBN 9781474615686

Inspired by Robert Macfarlane, curated by Jennie Orchard

‘This story, like so many stories, begins with a gift. The gift, like so many gifts, was a book…’ So begins the essay by Robert Macfarlane that inspired this collection. In this cornucopia of an anthology, you will find essays by some of the world’s most beloved novelists, nonfiction writers, essayists and poets.

Published to coincide with the 20th anniversary of global literacy non-profit, Room to Read, The Gifts of Reading forms inspiring, unforgettable, irresistible proof of the power and necessity of books and reading.